May 25, 2024

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Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2022: When You Need to Send a Package With UPS, FedEx, USPS and More

Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2022: When You Need to Send a Package With UPS, FedEx, USPS and More

This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

If you’re closely watching Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals right now, you’ll also want to keep an eye on shipping deadlines to ensure your packages from UPS, FedEx, the US Postal Service and Amazon are delivered in time for the holidays. 

Hanukkah this year starts on Dec. 18, 2023, and runs through Dec. 26. Kwanzaa starts as Hanukkah ends, on Dec. 26, and it continues until Jan. 1, 2023. And Christmas — the holiday around which most shipping services set their deadlines — arrives on Dec. 25.

For the best chance of having your letters and packages arrive on time this year, the big shipping and delivery companies have already announced the dates you need to make to have your packages show up on schedule.

Here are the 2022 Christmas shipping schedules for the major American package delivery services. If you’re wondering how prices at each service compare, we did the math to show average rates for UPS, FedEx and USPS. If you’re looking for great presents for anyone, you can always check out CNET’s favorite holiday gift picks. 

FedEx shipping deadlines for Dec. 25, 2022

Because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, you can’t get overnight delivery from FedEx. You’ll have to ship FedEx SameDay on Dec. 23 to get your package there by Christmas. FedEx Express Saver, 2Day and Overnight service deadlines are all one day earlier this year, due to the Sunday holiday date.

If you want the cheapest option, the FedEx Ground delivery deadline is Dec. 14.

Here are the dates FedEx recommends you ship by (PDF) to have your packages arrive by Dec. 25 in the US.

FedEx holiday shipment deadlines

Domestic service Ship date
Ground Dec. 14
Express Saver Dec. 20
2Day and 2Day AM* Dec. 21
First Overnight and Priority Overnight* Dec. 22
SameDay Dec. 23

* 2Day, 2Day AM, First Overnight and Priority Overnight can be sent one day later with optional Saturday Delivery add-on for $16 per package.

UPS shipping deadlines for Dec. 25, 2022

Similarly to FedEx, UPS shipping deadlines are all about a day earlier than last year. You’ll need to send your very latest packages by Dec. 22 to make sure they arrive by Dec. 25. Here are UPS’ recommended shipping dates (PDF) for Christmas 2022.

UPS holiday shipment deadlines

Domestic service Ship date
Ground Check the UPS website for deadlines
3-Day Select Dec. 20
2nd Day Air Dec. 21
Next Day Air Dec. 22

USPS shipping deadlines for Dec. 25, 2022

The US Post Office deadlines for shipping packages for Christmas are about exactly the same as last year. Here are the dates the post office recommends you circle on your calendar if you want your packages to arrive by Dec. 25.

USPS holiday shipment deadlines

Domestic service Date (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) Date for Alaska Date for Hawaii
USPS Retail Ground Dec. 17 Dec. 2 N/A
First-Class Mail Dec. 17 Dec. 18 Dec. 17
Priority Mail Dec. 19 Dec. 18 Dec. 17
Priority Mail Express Dec. 23 Dec. 21 Dec. 21

Amazon shipping deadlines for Dec. 25, 2022

You can cut some time out of the shopping and mailing process by ordering straight from Amazon and shipping the package directly to someone — as long as you have their address. Amazon hasn’t listed its holiday shipping deadlines for 2022, but we can extrapolate deadline this year from last year’s shipping dates.

Note that these are estimated delivery dates. All shipping dates except for e-Gift cards and free shipping in five to five to eight days are exclusively for Prime members. Each Amazon product listing page will also provide an estimated shipping date.

Amazon holiday shipment deadlines

Shipping type Deadline to buy Date delivered
Free shipping Dec. 15 Dec. 23
2-day shipping (Prime) Dec. 22 Dec. 24
1-day shipping (Prime) Dec. 23 Dec. 24
Same day delivery (Prime) Dec. 24 Dec. 24
e-Gift card delivery Dec. 25 Dec. 25

How to ship packages to arrive in time for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa this year

Unfortunately, the shipping companies don’t list specific deadlines for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. However, it’s not too hard to estimate the dates you’ll need to ship by to have your packages arrive on time.

For Kwanzaa, you can basically use the dates for Christmas. Kwanzaa starts on Dec. 26, which is a federal holiday this year. USPS and UPS will both not be delivering packages on Dec. 26, and FedEx will have limited services. If you want any Kwanzaa packages to arrive before the holiday begins, use the shipping deadlines for Christmas.

Hanukkah starts in 2022 on Dec. 18 and runs through Dec. 26. Since Hanukkah begins exactly a week before Christmas, you could subtract a week from the Christmas deadlines so that your packages arrive before the start of Hanukkah. For example, to have a standard USPS package arrive by Dec. 18, you’ll want to send it by Dec. 10. For USPS Priority Mail, you should send packages before Dec. 12.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and storms and package supply shortage may result in shipping delays, as has happened in the last few years.

Did you know you can buy unclaimed packages? To make sure your packages stay delivered, here’s how to guard against porch pirates. And here are some cool gifts for under 100 bucks.